Unprecedented Number of Locusts Push Somalia to Declare National Emergency

Men run through a swarm of desert locusts to chase them away in the bush near Enziu, Kitui County, some 200km east of the capital Nairobi, Kenya. EPA

An unprecedented number of locusts has caused Somalia to declare a national emergency; The United Nations says this is the worst locust issue Eastern Africa has seen in 25 years; There is significant fear that the problem will not be contained before Spring.


Somalia declared a national emergency over the weekend due to an unprecedented wave of locusts. While the locusts have been in the region for several months now, the United Nations believes this is the worst the situation has been in nearly 25 years. There is a growing fear that the locusts will not be contained before harvest season in the spring.

A representative from the Ministry of Agriculture of Somalia stated that concern is continuing to grow as the threat to Somalia’s already fragile food supply becomes even more vulnerable. The MA also stated that these locusts are unusually large in size, therefore consuming far more crops than normal.

The official called on other nations for their help, stating, “The scale of the locust which comes to Somalia is well, well beyond our means of controlling. That is why we are calling the international partners and the regional government to act together to fight this, to have a common strategy to fight the pest.”

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